A Russian rocket blasted off on Monday from Kazakhstan shuttling an American, a Russian and a Japanese to the International Space Station. When Timothy Creamer, Soichi Noguchi and Oleg Kotov join the two current inhabitants who have been alone on the space station for three weeks, the total crew will be brought to five.
The vessel traveled for about two days before docking with the space station 220 miles above Earth. One of the crew's tasks will be to assist in the delivery of a module, complete with a seven-window cupola for prime Earth gazing.
The space station this week beamed a video Christmas greeting to Earth, and on its website, NASA has created a series of virtual postcards for members of the public to send to the space station with their holiday greetings. Astronaut Creamer has also promised to keep people back on earth up-to-date and send his holiday greetings via his Twitter account. NASA spokesman Rob Navias stated, “This was a spectacular launch, a great Christmas present, and a great way to finish the year."
Most still marvel at the reality that is modern-day space travel and only time will tell how far man will proceed in that realm. And it is equally astounding that man can so easily and effectively communicate to earth even using some of the common technical tools and toys of the day. But this so-called ‘great Christmas present” and the ‘great way to finish the new year’ are but simple reminders of the greatest Christmas gift ever and the ultimate capacity of communications.
Students of the Scriptures know that Jesus Christ created space itself and everything it encompasses. He communicated with mankind, not by sending a message from beyond the stars, but by coming to earth and being born in a stable. And He left to His true followers the single most effective form of communication - the abiity to communicate with the Heavenly Father through the indwelling Holy Spirit of God.
The greatest way to ‘finish the year’, or any year, is not limited to a privileged few space travelers. It is reserved for all who recognize the One who created space and time, and who traveled through both in order to launch the gift of salvation to earth-bound and sin-bound sinners.
NASA may have technology for ‘prime Earth gazing’ and to look deep into outer space. But the unique ability to see and know the God of the universe is the exclusive right of those who have personally communicated by faith with Jesus Christ. The Bible clearly reveals the dual roles of God's Son as both the Creator and the Savior.
"For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:16-17)
"For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. (1 Timothy 4:10)
As the maker of all, and the Savior of all, He alone remains the all-time greatest gift for all of time and all of eternity!